Wisdom Teeth: Removal, Maintenance and Cavity Prevention

Be Kind, Don't Grind: How Your Dentist Can Correct Your Teeth Grinding Problem

Grinding your teeth together while you sleep (or bruxism, to use its proper name) is more serious than it might seem. Anyone affected by the condition will quickly come to realise this. Not only does the excessive friction damage your teeth, but the forces at work will cause considerable strain on the tendons and muscles of your jaw. You'll wake up each morning with sore (and possibly damaged) teeth and a strained jaw. Your dentist can help, and to spare your teeth from deterioration while also preventing ongoing discomfort to your jaw, you'll certainly need professional assistance.

Existing Damage to Your Teeth

Corrosion to teeth resulting from bruxism is most pronounced on the tooth's biting surface—where teeth make contact with the teeth in the opposing dental arch. Since this fairly even level of tooth wear is easily spotted during a regular checkup, it might be your dentist who first suggests that you're affected by bruxism. Any wear and tear that may endanger the tooth will be repaired. The tooth's surface might need to be reinforced with composite dental resin, although an inlay or onlay may be more suitable.

Preventing Further Damage to Your Teeth

Further damage to your teeth must be prevented. Your dentist can order a custom night guard. This is a simple device, and it's just a lightweight mouthguard made specifically for your teeth. You'll only need to wear it over your upper or lower dental arch (as determined by your dentist), and its lightweight, ultra-thin design is intended to make the night guard as inconspicuous as possible, so you won't notice it when you're sleeping. The physical barrier created by the guard prevents physical contact between your upper and lower sets of teeth, which stops any further damage.

Relief for Your Strained Jaw

Your sore, strained jaw can be addressed using an unlikely solution. Your dentist can apply botox to limit jaw movement while you sleep. The physical effects of your bruxism are comparable to involuntary muscle spasms, resulting in a mastication (chewing) motion while you sleep, and this considerable strain must be eliminated. The night guard will protect your teeth, and strategic, long-lasting applications of botox to your jaw muscles will prevent overnight involuntary movements, while still giving you full control over your jaw muscles while you're awake.

Bruxism can be a serious and extremely distressing problem. But with a multifaceted solution from your dentist, your bruxism will soon be a thing of the past, and you'll have a restful night of sleep—without damaging your teeth or straining your jaw.

For more information, contact a dentist in your area.